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 By Chris Wright

Preston defender Kevin O'Connor wins €1m in Irish lottery

Preston North End's Kevin O'Connor celebrates winning Irish lottery with his family
Preston North End's Kevin O'Connor celebrates winning Irish lottery with his family.

Preston North End defender Kevin O'Connor is now a much richer man after winning the National Lottery Christmas Millionaire Raffle jackpot in Ireland.

The 22-year-old left-back, who only joined the Championship side a couple of months ago, scooped €1 million after receiving the winning ticket as a Christmas gift from his uncle.

According to The Irish Independent, the lucky numbers were posted to O'Connor by his uncle Peadar along with a little note that read "I wish you the best of luck".

The ticket was validated at a supermarket on New Year's Eve, with the cash prize now due to be collected from the Irish National Lottery headquarters in Dublin.

"It's been an incredible two days and I don't think the win has sunk in yet," O'Connor said.

"I have no immediate plans but will take a few days before we make any decisions."

Louis Flanagan, proprietor of the supermarket from where the winning ticket was purchased, added:  "I was delighted for Kevin and his parents, Brian and Breda. One could not meet a nicer person or family. When he (Kevin) came into the supermarket along with his girlfriend it was the very same Kevin of old. He has not changed one bit. He is as nice a person as one could meet.

"Kevin got to where he is today the hard way. He played with Waterford before joining Cork City. He worked so hard to get that opportunity with Preston North End having also played with Ireland at under-age level. If I was to pick a person to win I could not have done any better. It's wonderful and with such a nice family I have still hope in this world."

If you're struggling to place O'Connor during Preston's next match, just look for the defender in the solid gold, Swarovski crystal-encrusted boots.

Chris covers the funny side of the game for ESPN FC in the Toe Poke blog.

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